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    Entries in benefits (22)

    Monday
    Oct302017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 300 - Taking Care of Employee Caregivers

    HR Happy Hour  300 - Taking Care of Employee Caregivers

    Host : Steve Boese

    Guest: Adam Goldberg, CEO and Founder, Torchlight

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Adam Goldberg, CEO and Founder of Torchlight, an outcomes focused, employee caregiver platform that reduces the costs and complexities of modern caregiving for families and employers in the U.S. 

    On the show, Adam talked about the growing challenge of caregiving in the US, the situation where employees have significant responsibilities outside of work with childcare, elder care, and other caregiving situations that require, time, attention, resources, and are a major source of life and work stress for employees.

    About 1 in 6 employees in the US, (that is over 20 million employees), are facing these challenges, and the changing demographics of the US and the workforce only suggest these challenges are only going to increase, making the employer response to their workforce's needs and concerns in this area more important. It is a billion dollar challenge and problem for US employers.

    Adam shared why this issue matters to him, and to workplaces, how employers have typically responded, (or not responded) in the past, and how modern, technology supported approaches, like the one developed by Torchlight can help employers and employees. 

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This is a significant and growing problem in the workplace and for employees, and it was great to finally discuss this on the HR Happy Hour. Thanks to Adam for joining us.

    Learn more about these issues and about Torchlight at www.torchlight.care and follow them on Twitter - @TorchlightCare

    Thanks to show sponsor Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Also, please take a minute and give us some feedback by taking our HR Happy Hour Podcast Network Survey.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts, just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to never miss a show.

    Tuesday
    Sep262017

    CHART OF THE DAY: What do employee health benefits cost anyway?

    In between arguing with sports teams, players, owners, and fans on Twitter, one of the other things that the US government's leaders have spent a bunch of time on in 2017 are the attempts, (and so far, 'attempting' is all that has been done), at revising, reforming, or replacing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

    And while I, or no one else as far as I can tell, has any clue what is going to happen with the ACA and whatever might come next, I have been thinking about benefits, in particular employer sponsored health benefits lately, for reasons that are both boring and not really that important.

    While on a internet foray on this topic over the weekend, (I know, my life is REALLY exciting), I landed on an excellent resource for this kind of data, Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey, which was recently released.

    The annual survey is a joint project of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. The survey was conducted between January and June of 2017 and included 3,938 randomly selected, non-federal public and private firms with three or more employees (including 2,137 that responded to the full survey and 1,801 others that responded to a single question about offering coverage).

    So to get back to the title/question of the post, here is today's CHART OF THE DAY, a quick look at just what employer sponsored health care benefits cost, (the premium) and how much the average employee contributes to that cost. Here's the data, then some comments from me after the chart:

     

    Some thoughts...

    1. Wow, that chart is harder to read than I hoped for. Here is a link to the in a much larger size.

    2. In case you still have trouble making out the details, for 2017 the average cost (premium) for employer-based family coverage was $18,764 annually with the employee contributing, on average, $5,714, or about 30% of the premium.

    3. This split, or ratio of employer funding to employee contribution varies a bit by company size. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, companies larger than 200 employees contribute about 72% of the annual premium, while smaller employers (fewer than 200 employees), only contribute 64%. This difference equates to about an extra $1,600 annually that the employee would have to contribute.

    4. Surprisingly, the rate of premium increases has slowed in recent years. According to the survey, annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 3 percent to $18,764 this year, continuing a six-year run of relatively modest increases.

    5. There are about 151 million Americans who are covered via an employer-sponsored healthcare plan. That makes the employer market by far the single largest source of health care coverage for folks in the US.

    Really interesting data, and there is lots more to dig into at the KFF site.

    As I said, I have no clue what is going to happen with ACA, or whatever might come next. But I do think the more you know about how many Americans access and pay for health care the better informed you will be and the better prepared to make decisions for yourself, your family, and your organization.

    Friday
    Apr212017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 282 - HR, Organizations, and Employee Student Loan Debt

    HR Happy Hour 282 - HR, Organizations, and Employee Student Loan Debt

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Jen Bailey, Director Business Development, Tuition.IO

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show recorded live at the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference, Steve Boese is joined by Jen Bailey from Tuition.IO, the leading employer funded student loan contribution platform to talk about employee student loan debt, and the opportunity for HR and organizations to offer student loan repayment contributions as an employee benefit.

    In the US, student loans are at record levels, and more and more employees are entering the workforce with stunning debt levels that they have to pay down. Some progressive employers have turned to student loan repayment contributions to help employees better manage their debts, while also serving as a powerful talent retention and attraction tool. A recent study reported that 86% of employees would remain at an employer for 5 years if student loan repayment contributions were offered as a benefit.

    Jen talked about how the platform works, how an employer evaluates their options in setting up a student loan repayment contribution, and the ROI that employers are seeing from implementing these student loan repayment benefit programs.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a super interesting discussion about a very important topic for HR and Benefits leaders, as well as society overall.

    You can learn more about Tuition.IO here.

    Thanks to our show sponsor Virgin Pulse - check them out at www.virginpulse.com

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Thursday
    Mar162017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 278 - The ACA in 2017: What HR and Benefits Leaders Need to Know

    HR Happy Hour 278 - The ACA in 2017: What HR and Benefits Leaders Need to Know

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Shan Fowler, Benefitfocus, Chris Condeluci, CC Law & Policy

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, recorded live at Benefitfocus One Place 2017 Conference, Steve Boese is joined by Shan Fowler of  Benefitfocus and Chris Condeluci of CC Law & Policy to talk repeal, replace, reconciliation, and all things ACA in 2017.

    Any HR and Benefits leader who is following the news surrounding the potential repeal and replacement of the ACA is no doubt facing questions and concerns about what is really happening in Washington, what these potential changes mean for employers, and how best to keep informed and prepared for the future of the ACA and whatever may come next.

    Chris and Shan talked about what is most likely to happen with the current legislation under consideration, a timeline of what seems likely to occur in the next several weeks, and what might happen in the balance of 2017.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or using the widget player below (Email and RSS subscribers click through)

    This is an important, fast-moving, complex, and fascinating topic, and one that all HR and Benefits leaders need to have top of mind as events unfold. Listen to the show to learn more about what is happening, and how you can stay ready for what might be coming soon.

    And Steve gives a solid 'Schoolhouse Rock' reset along the way.Thanks to Shan and Chris as well as everyone on the Benefitfocus team for hosting this special episode of the HR Happy Hour Show.

    Learn more at www.benefitfocus.com.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.

    Monday
    Feb272017

    One type of consumer debt is at a record high, and it could impact your Employee Benefits strategy

    Quick shot for a busy, 'Did I just read the wrong Best Picture winner?' Monday.

    From our pals at Bloomberg, reporting on the recently released Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit out of the Federal Reserve of New York.

    Total U.S. student debt hit a record $1.31 trillion last year, the 18th consecutive year Americans' education debt rose, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Outstanding loans taken out for higher education have doubled since 2009, data show. No other form of household debt has increased by as much since then. In fact, of the six major categories of consumer debt tracked by the New York Fed, only student loans and auto debt have increased since year-end 2008 (total auto loans are up 46 percent). Total household debt has fallen by 1 percent

    There are some more interesting nuggets on what is happening with student debt in the New York Fed report, including the fact that among the five major types of household debt (mortgage, home equity, student, auto, and credit card), student loan debt has the highest percentage (11.2%) classified as 'seriously delinquent', i.e. over 90 days late.

    Finally, this chart from the Bloomberg piece illustrates how much faster student debt has risen compared to the other forms of household debt since 2008:

    Add all of this up and it points to an environment where student loan debt loads are increasing, former students are having a tougher time keeping current on repayments, and many if not most of your newest employees are walking into their brand new jobs in a state of financial difficulty. 

    A number of organizations have responded to these circumstances by offering student loan repayment assistance or contributions as a part of their benefits offerings. According to Time.com, Chegg, Penguin Random House, and Aetna are among the companies that have implemented schemes that contribute to employee's student loan repayments. And a number of technology/services offerings from providers like Gradifi, Student Loan Genius, Tuition.io, and SoFi are marketing these programs and schemes to employers.

    It seems pretty likely that the student loan debt crisis is not going away any time soon, (has any college or university ever cut tuition prices?), and that candidates increasingly burdened by debt will begin to actively seek employment opportunities that both recognize and can offer assistance to them in this area. 

    Sure, offering student loan payment assistance as a new benefit will come off as just a 'cost', at least in the sort term. But looking at it from a wider angle, it could be an important differentiator in candidate attraction and employee retention. 

    And it could be that along with the other early adopter companies mentioned above, you can finally get in front of a trend for once, instead of having to chase it three years from now.

    Happy Monday - have a great week!